COVID-19: Latest news and sector advice

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 10:51

You will be aware that New Zealand now has confirmed cases of COVID-19 and it continues to spread internationally. While the rate of new infections appears to be contained in some countries, there have also been rapid spikes in others. It’s a fast-evolving global situation, with many uncertainties. The Ministry, as the Lead Agency is taking this responsibility very seriously and continues to work extremely hard to plan for and limit the impact of COVID-19.

All the latest information about COVID-19 can be found on the Ministry’s COVID-19 website. This is updated frequently, often several times a day, and includes videos of media stand-ups which take place most days. We’ve also set up a Ministry Facebook page to get messaging out to the public and help to counter misinformation about novel coronavirus. Please share it with your networks. 

Simple steps to stop the spread of disease

Importantly, we all need to follow our public health messaging, in particular:

  • washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds and drying them for 20 seconds – or use an alcohol-based hand rub
  • covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze – then putting the tissue in a lined bin
  • coughing or sneezing in to your elbow if a tissue is not readily available
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • not sharing drinks
  • self-isolating if required. See the Ministry of Health website for more information on self-isolation.

Impact on the National Screening Unit 

Following the outbreak of Covid-19, several of our NSU staff have been seconded to work within the National Health Coordination Centre at the Ministry of Health. Like many of those working in the health sector, this current situation has had an impact on our work programme. We will continue to update the sector on any further developments and in the meantime, we appreciate your patience and understanding whilst we attempt to prioritise our work during this period.

Page last updated: 11 March 2020